If Obama gave a more impassioned speech during the campaign than the one he gave to Democratic House members at their retreat last night, I missed it. It was a truly great speech. Here’s the full prepared remarks, but he goes off text about mid way through:
When you start asking well what is it that’s such a problem, that you’re seeing? Where’s all the waste in spending? "Well you know you want to replace the federal fleet with hybrid cars."
Well why wouldn’t we want to do that? That creates jobs for people who make those cars. It saves the federal government energy, it saves the taxpayers energy.
Then you get the argument well this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill
What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point.
No seriously. That’s the point.
Democratic leaders said they were glad Obama had started to fire back at the Republicans.
“I think the president decided it was time to lay out the facts, and take control of the debate,” said Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina.
“You can’t sit back and let them define the debate,” he added.
CQ points out that he almost never mentions the word "Republicans" in the speech. Why would he? The biggest obstacle are those he’s speaking to there in the room — the Blue Dogs Democrats like Jim Cooper who said yesterday they want to rip it apart in conference.
Senate debate continues at 10 am. At some point the 16 so-called "centrists" who want to prove that all roads in the Senate lead through them should deliver their own bill, but if they don’t stop playing with themselves some time today Harry Reid will say "enough" and file for cloture, which means a cloture vote on Sunday (which would screw up the plans of McCain, Kyl and Slummy Joe to jet off to Europe for the weekend).
In the mean time they’ll be working their way through amendments. We’ll be watching the Senate debate in the comments.